Brunch: Foiegwa (Montreal, Canada)

Another weekend out. One of my awesome friends took me out for a belated birthday brunch as he always does every year. This year, we went to try out Foiegwa which is a diner/restaurant located near the Atwater Market in Montreal. Its in a pretty convenient location and we’ve never been before.

Let’s check it out!

FOIEGWA

Menu

Foiegwa

Tea

Foiegwa

Not my usual green tea but they did have the selection although they had run out of the green so I took Early Grey instead. Black tea isn’t my favorite but this one was pretty good.

Meals

Foiegwa

Ham Omelet

Foiegwa

Chicken and Waffles

Ham omelet was my meal. I broke out of the normal two eggs and whatever side which is my usual go-to. I do like ham quite a bit but I don’t eat it a lot. The omelet was really good with a good balance of seasoning. There was an apple chutney of sorts which tasted pretty good. The potato wedges were also very tasty.

My friend had the Chicken and Waffles. The chicken looked moist and he said it was. His feedback was that the meal itself was good, both the chicken and waffles. However, he would have liked to have the maple syrup on the side instead so that he could be the judge of how much to put on it.

Overall, the service was decent. It is a small joint and pretty busy on the weekends so do expect a wait. I don’t mind waiting for good food so that wasn’t an issue. The place is convenient and the food was good. The parking is a little harder and really relies on your luck but we were also lucky so everything worked out for us. I definitely recommend this place. The menu is quite extensive and I’d definitely go back to try out something else there when I have time.

Cabane à Sucre: Érabliere au Palais Sucré (Mont Saint Gregoire, Quebec)

After a few years ago’s little sugar shack incident that left quite the sour taste in our mouth, which you can find here, my girl friends and I decided to head out to give it another try but of course, at another location. With that experience in our pockets, we made sure to get how everything worked here before even beginning the meal. I’m getting ahead of myself already.

Let’s get ready to sugar off! 🙂

Érabliere au Palais Sucré

erabliere au palais sucre

The site itself was really nice. There were some farm animals to look at. There were also swing sets around a little fire and a playground area for the kids. Inside a house was a the tir a sirop which is a little maple syrup thing that I’ll show you later. We had a bit of time to walk around while we waited for our table to be available since we got there a little earlier than the reservation. It was a beautiful day so made the walk very enjoyable.

Now for the meal!

 

erabliere au palais sucre

Pea Soup

Erabliere au Palais Sucre

Main meal

In the main meal, there’s the scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, sausages, fried potatoes and cooked potatoes, coleslaw, beans, and the crunchy thing. Most of these have maple syrup already but you can always add more maple syrup since that is the point.

erabliere au palais sucre

Dessert

All the desserts had milk so I couldn’t have any of it but my friends said that it was incredibly sweet so it was very filling as well. There’s some sugar pie and mini pancakes and little cakes and the pudding.

Finally, after we left, it was time to use the ticket for the “tir au sirop” which is maple syrup on ice and you use a popsicle stick to roll it up to eat.

Erabliere au palais sucre

This is actually one of my favorite winter highlights and I love it a lot. Its pretty awesome. And this tasted really good. It is pure maple syrup so every place has a little variety and I like this place’s quite a bit.

A quick little outing but its always fun with my girl friends. It was a ton of fun and the meal was pretty good. Most of all, the service was very good. Our waitress tried her best to even offer options for the dessert when she knew that I couldn’t have any. I always appreciate these little gestures.

A fun little outing!
Have you been to Sugar Shack (aka Cabane a Sucre)?

Breakfast Dinner: Portobello Mushrooms & Eggs

2017 is going to be a huge goal of trying to get back to a healthier lifestyle. With that said, cooking is going to be a bigger part of our life. At least we’re really trying to do more homecooked meals.

In the last few months of 2016, I started having a huge love for Portobello mushrooms. Add into our love for breakfast food and eggs in general, I thought about doing something like this for a while and decided this past weekend that with the remaining two Portobello mushrooms left in the pack, I could try this one out. I took some inspiration from the site below for cooking times but I didn’t really season with anything fancy.

Portobello Mushrooms & Eggs

Portobello Mushrooms & EggsRecipe inspired by: http://healthyrecipesblogs.com/2013/11/04/eggs-baked-in-portobello-mushrooms/

Ingredients
Makes 2 servings

2 Portobello mushrooms
2 eggs
Salt & pepper to season
a dash of Herbes des Provences
olive oil, to spray

How to make it

  1. Preheat broiler, setting temperature to high. Set oven rack in the middle and line the baking sheet with foil.
  2. Spray the mushroom caps with olive oil cooking spray on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Remove mushrooms from oven. Switch oven from broil to bake, setting temperature at 400F.
  4. Break an egg in each mushroom. Sprinkle with Herbes des Provences.  Bake 15 minutes, until egg whites are cooked.
  5. Sprinkle the egg with a dash of salt and pepper. Serve.

If you follow the link above, you can see the variation is to sprinkle with cheese. Which would be our first choice except we ran out of lactose-free cheese (for myself) so I used herbs instead. And that worked out quite well. A note to remember would be to avoid sogginess to wipe clean instead of washing the mushroom. I only remembered that as I turned on the faucet and tried to soak up the water as much as I could. It wasn’t too soggy luckily.

Overall, simple and easy. I really loved the taste of this one and to be honest, I’ve been thinking about heading out to get some more portobello mushrooms and adding cheese to the mixture and it should taste even better.

How do you like to make mushrooms? What variety do you use?

Breakfast: Baked Eggs (in muffin pan)

Aren’t Sunday brunches the best? I love them a lot! Its why this recipe (even though I made it for a quick dinner solution) works great for this morning’s post!

I’m all about making food quick and simple and I’ve been seeing these muffin tin recipes for a while. I kind of improvised most of this myself, which seems like a norm nowadays since I just have to work with what we have as I’m too tired to go to the grocery store especially on the week nights after work. Excuses aside, This is how it turned out!

Eggs in Muffin Tin

Baked Eggs

Ingredients:

Eggs
Green onions, chopped
Cheese, grated
Herbes de Provence
Pepper

*Quantity of each is as you please, except for the egg which is one per muffin cup

Baked Eggs

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and oil the muffin pan to prevent sticking.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the ingredients. Separate the chopped green onions and cheese into each muffin cup space (whatever you call it).
  3. Crack an egg into each space with ingredients.
  4. Season with Herbes de Provence and pepper.
  5. Cook in oven for 10 to 15 minutes (or until cooked).

This is my own recipe that I put together so nothing changed or substituted. However, if I were to redo it, I might cut the shallots smaller or place less in the version I made. However, the taste of it all was really good. I like Herbes de Provence as a seasoning and a bit of pepper always brings out a nice taste to food. I used lactose-free cheese but whatever cheese you fancy probably works.

Baking: Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and well, he loves sweets so I made a last minute decision before heading off to work to make him Hong Kong style Egg Tarts.

He had been asking for them for a while and I had bought the mini tart shells before.  My only issue was that the normal recipe had one ingredient that I wanted to research to make sure that I could eat it also so I was actively looking for substitute.  It was why this has been delayed.  Normally, I’d make the tart shell also but I’ve made tart shells before and it is really painful to do at times. Honestly, I couldn’t be bothered with it.

Regardless, we are making Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts!

I got the recipe from Tasty.com and here’s their video:

I only used the filling part of the recipe but I did make a few changes.

The main thing is the ingredient I mentioned before: evaporated milk. Being lactose-intolerant is a big problem.  I read up a few alternatives.  One was to boil soy or almond milk (with a bigger quantity) to its desired amount.  The other was just to use a little more than half of the amount in the recipe.  Being the lazy person I am and being on a time crunch to leave for work, I chose option 2.  Scroll down to see whether it worked out!

AND, here’s how it looked before the oven and after it was done its 15 mins bake time!

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Before

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Fresh out of the oven!

FYI: The pie tarts were Tenderflake Mini Tart Shells. They come in packages of 12 which is exactly the amount this recipe needed.

Also, the straining is one of the most important steps of making Egg Tarts because it makes sure that there are no bubbles on top of the tart and gives it that smooth glossy finish just like store-bought ones.  I had to strain it two times so do it till you feel satisfied with the filling before you pour it in.

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Apparently, the simple substitute works well.  The husband thought it tasted like what we had bought in Chinatown before. That is perfect because that also means I’ve found a way to revamp the recipe to make it work.  AND, further proves that many baked goods out there can work without dairy ingredients and yet, everyone insists on using it.  However, after giving them a go after work, I thought they were a little on the sweet side but still the texture is good.

Have you ever eaten Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts? What type of desserts do you like?

Erabliere Charbonneau…

Sugar shacks are a huge thing in Quebec.  I haven’t been since…I was really young.  Young enough that I don’t quite remember much from it.  I think it was somewhere around Grade 1 or 2.  But then, I remember going to apple picking in Grade 1 and Granby Zoo in Grade 2 so maybe its in kindergarten?

Sorry, thinking out loud again (Ed Sheeran song pops in my head for a little).

Gosh, I really don’t want to write this, eh? It’s just going off on tangents.  You’ll see why in just a little bit.

Me, my boyfriend and some good friends all came for this little trip to Erabliere Charbonneau at the end of season sugar shack dining.  Before we start, if you live in Montreal, chances are you know about the highly reputable Erabliere Charbonneau.  Everyone goes there and its fantastic and all that jazz…today, I’m going to tell you why I will never go again.  Our experience was not too pleasant.  As most of you know, I’m a pretty chill person and I don’t criticize all that much but thinking about this experience makes my blood boil just a little (well, today its just a little).  But I like to start on a positive note so let’s do this!

The Food!

Starters

Erabliere Charbonneau

Homemade Ketchup

Erabliere Charbonneau

Pea Soup

The “marinade” starters included bread and pea soup.  Maybe there was something else but I don’t remember.

Main course

Erabliere Charbonneau

Maple flavored Sausages, meatballs and Tourtiere

Erbaliere Charbonneau

Ham, Eggs and Potatoes

Think breakfast/brunch with lots of sweetness added in 😉 Thats what all this was.  To be fair, the sausages and meatballs were pretty delish.  You can order seconds if you so desired.

Dessert

Erabliere Charbonneau

Mini pancakes

Erabliere Charbonneau

Sugar Pastries

Erabliere Charbonneau

Sugar Pie

Last group is desserts.  Although who knows when dessert starts when everything is all about being rather sweet with maple syrup. I didn’t have anything in this because of the lactose intolerant issue.  From what I gathered, it was over the top sweet for some and alright for others…I guess it all depends on how much sweet is too much for you.

The Reason Why I Won’t Go Back Here

First up, remember that pretty much everyone in our group hasn’t gone to a sugar shack in a while and we don’t quite know how it all works.  As customers, you’d expect to have the benefit of the doubt and even then, one of my friends does quite a bit of research in advance so we knew that we could ask for seconds but from what we understood, we could have it after our dessert portion.  Sure, that seems a little out of order and unconventional, that’s okay.

So, we decided after it finished that we wanted to have another serving of sausages, meatballs and potatoes and the waitress looks at us like we’re crazy but she still does it.  A few minutes later, the manager comes out and starts literally scolding us in front of everyone about how she’s been working there for 20 years and this has never happened.  We explained our side rather calmly but still she kept raising her voice about how this was not how its done.

We’re not an unreasonable group.  My issue isn’t even with how we made an unconventional request and she seemed to want to refuse (even if she did end up serving it to us after our scolding), it was the way she handled it that got me pretty angry. For one, the kitchen is still running and our reservations are only up at noon.  We asked at 11:30am.  But also the point that, as a business, you don’t go up to your customers and yell at them in front of a room full of other customers.  We’re all adults.  She could have explained calmly so we understood and not belittle or be all condescending.  Even if she refused and was explaining nicely to us, I’d have probably been less pissed.  Because what this shows me is that she doesn’t want our business and to be honest, I don’t really want to come back here to be insulted.

Its a pity because the food here is good.  They have a good thing going but sometimes, good (even great) food doesn’t make bad service feel better.  Maybe we had fault by asking for something out of their normal routine but they also had fault because our assigned waitress was not clear about the details of how this works and when we could ask for our second rounds before clearing our table.  Plus, its not exactly proper customer service to have a manager yell a table of adults instead of explaining calmly.  Her attitude bothered me so much.

Still, if you do decide to give this a shot, the perks of this place is that you get a free sampling of one cider/wine at their orchard and it includes the “tir de glace” which is the maple syrup on ice thing.  I don’t know the proper term for it.

Have you been to somewhere like this? Where was it? Did you enjoy the experience?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

This week, share a photo of something that’s art to you. It could be some actual “art,” like a painting by your grandmother or the misshapen but perfect clay sculpture your child brought home from kindergarden, or something most people wouldn’t consider beautiful at all, but that has meaning to you. The important thing is that it’s art in your eyes. – The Daily Post

I’m a movie lover, a bookworm, a blogger learning how to write and an amateur photographer.  Not to mention, a patient crafter and I’m all about DIY-ing.  I can sit down and do photobooks, sift through pictures, compile scrapbook layouts hours on hours.  I can cross stitch for hours which feel like minutes and make bottles of origami stars and buckets of origami cranes.  And finally, as an aspiring baker, I can sit around and craft my baked goods for a long time, like with my glow in the dark cupcakes HERE!

What I’m saying is that I’m all about art in cinematography, the picture weaved by the words on paper and the images filtered through the lens of a camera. The best work of art comes from your heart.  Thats the reason why I do DIY and thats the reason why these following things popped in my head when I saw work of art because they are all art in my eyes. Maybe its not worth oodles of money like Van Gogh but they are irreplaceable.

First up is the work of art from my mom…

Cake

Simple strawberry birthday cake

Sure, my mom doesn’t get all fancy like when I bake but what shines through her simplicity is her love. Plus, didn’t we all learn to not judge a book by its cover because my mom makes a kick ass cake.

After an exhibit from my mom, how can I go through without something from my dad because that was the first thing I told my mom and my boyfriend I would be moving to my home: one of my dad’s work of arts.

P1220006

You got that, right? This painting may have migrated to another part of the house because my university diploma is occupying its place above the piano but its coming with me. My dad’s painting of this bird is my favorite.  I always believed that my dad should have taken up the arts diligently and he would have gotten so far with the right opportunities.  Maybe thats because I’m his daughter and I just admire him despite our differences.  Thats my award-winning work of art that I own right now.

Now, we all know my friends hold a crazy place in my heart, at least they all know who they are.  Although my friend’s wedding earlier this year was done in a fanatical rush and frenzy with only 6 short months for a 200 guest wedding, she may not believe it but all those endless hours she put in to make the centerpieces on each table and the individual party favors that made up said centerpiece, they were the most beautiful ever.

20140217_202724I spent a few hours helping out with punching out the little parts of these butterflies and let me tell you, she has some admirable patience and the time and care she put in this work of art was memorable to me, even if no one else realized how much work was put into it.

Unless you just dropped by, you all know I’m addicted to flowers. I love flowers so other than baking and the myriad of things I do, my work of art every year is in making the perfect Chinese New Year floral arrangements 😉

P1200785

How about it? What is the work of art that you love? 

Here is my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge.  Please see other entries HERE!

Bacon and Egg Cups!

Happy Monday, my lovelies! I’m in a great mood and figured that I would share some food posts to brighten up everyone’s day!

Last night was my boyfriend and me’s (not so sudden) desire to have our breakfast style dinner.  I was checking out my pins on Pinterest earlier in the day also to look for a baking recipe, which I will finally do tonight hopefully 🙂

Back to my dinner, as we were preparing, I landed on this very delicious looking recipe for Bacon and Eggs.  You can see it here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/313844667755043073/

Somehow, the actual link for the recipe doesn’t work anymore but here’s how mine turned out!

Bacon and Egg Cups

Bacon and Egg Cups

Its super easy to make this.

What you do is that you take muffin tins and then you could add some non-stick spray if you’d like.  I didn’t, but it might help to take it out easier afterwards. You wrap a strip of bacon to each contour of the muffin tins and then whip up some eggs, as many as you would need to fill up each one 3/4 full. For me, it took about 5-6 eggs for each pan. They also suggest to mix in some cheese as well.  I can’t eat cheese so I didn’t do that. After that, you set your oven for 350F and pop it in there for 30 mins or so.

And VOILA!

Bacon and Egg Cups

Bacon and Egg Cups

These tasted really good.  My only problem was the border of bacon strip sometimes would go out of shape as I was preparing the eggs to pour in it.  The eggs were not seasoned for mine but I never feel the need to when there is bacon because it tends to be salty already.  However, if I were to do this again, maybe I’d try out add hints of smoked paprika perhaps.  Might give it a boost in taste.  It could be interesting 🙂

This is simple and quick and if you don’t like breakfast style dinners, well, you can just make it for breakfast or brunch, whichever works for you!

Do you like bacon and eggs? What is a must-have for breakfast or brunch meals?